Police: Mall bomb threat a hoax

THE Police Regional Office (PRO)-Negros Island Region and the management of SM City Bacolod declared a hoax a supposed police report stating about the intelligence gathering and risk assessment on the reported bomb threat at SM City Bacolod.

The “message” of an alleged bomb try from the Directorate for Intelligence of the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters in Camp Crame, stated: "From SM Officers! Hi guys! Just an update, we got a call from Abu Sayyaf right now asking SM for $15 million or else they're going to bomb the mall. We have 1 week to do that. We are on high alert now. Tell your loved ones, friends and co-workers better avoid any SM branch for the meantime. Better be safe than sorry. We are doing close security after receiving the call this morning. Don't post on your walls as per request of the office but do inform relatives and friends."

Chief Inspector Dianne Grace Catedral, public information officer of PRO-18, said Sunday there is no evidence or information gathered that would confirm the content of the report.

The signatory in the said memorandum denied that he signed such message, Catedral added, but she said the police will not take for granted such kind of information.

“We are on full alert status," Catedral said, adding that they maximize personnel assigned on the streets and in places of convergence.

She said the regional office assures the public that the Philippines National Police is doing its best to make the Negros Island Region a safe place to live, work, and do business.

“We encourage the public to remain calm and be vigilant and be observant,” Catedral said.

She reminded Negrenses to report to the nearest police station suspicious looking persons, or an unattended package or baggage in places of convergence.

“We also ask the public to stop reposting the said ‘memorandum’ to avoid alarm and fear to the community,” Catedral said.

May Castro, public and media relations manager of SM City Bacolod, said the message was not real and its content is from an old text message that circulated in September 2016.

It's the same text, copied word for word and it's a hoax, she added.
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